A 10-year-old Chinese boy with an eating disorder is on the mend after surgeons removed 12 nails from his stomach that he had swallowed.
Asia Wire Report (AWR) reported that Xiao Wen is thought to suffer from pica, a disorder wherein individuals swallow inedible items like hair, dirt or metal. After Wen’s classmates reportedly saw him ingest the steel nails, each measuring about 1.39 inches long, which he found on the playground, he was rushed to the hospital for scans.
At Hunan Children’s Hospital in Changsha, Dr. Wen Jiabing said X-rays showed the nails had begun rupturing the boy’s organs and would cause life-threatening internal bleeding without swift action.
After undergoing surgery, Wen is recovering, AWR reported. Doctors advised his grandparents to monitor him closely, as Wen initially denied swallowing the nails by choice but rather claimed bullies made him do so. His classmates said they watched him swallow the objects voluntarily.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there’s no single treatment that’s proven successful for pica, but adequate nutrition and mild aversion therapy.